College ranking isn’t as important as finding the right college
Selecting the right college is a big decision, one that must be done with great care and thought. A lot of students choose schools based on brand recognition and college ranking. Many students look at schools with high college ranking as the gold standard of where they must attend college at. The truth is, a good college fit has nothing to do with college ranking or name recognition. Students should spend their time looking at factors such as a college’s social and academic environment, faculty to student ratios and majors offered. Every student should visit their perspective colleges in person for a campus tour where they can talk to professors, other students and admissions counselors.
All colleges are good in theory but every student is so different that finding the “right college fit,” is about more than name recognition. It’s a personal journey and it looks different for each student. The good news is that many (if not most) people end up happy with the school they choose, but what happens when you find yourself not among them? Fortunately for you, you have the option of transferring.
The Transfer Process
To transfer over to another college, you must first submit a transfer application (you can find this on the website of the school you are interested in). Both your high school and college transcripts will also need to be submitted. If you are looking to start at your new school in the fall semester, you should start the application process early in the year (January or February). If starting in the spring semester is your goal, start the process no later than October.
Starting Over at a New School
It is important to keep in mind that transferring to a new school is not necessarily an instant solution to whatever issues you were having at your previous school. If you were having trouble finding friends or fitting in, for example, you’re still going to have to work to find your place at your new school (joining clubs is a good start). Additionally, you should know that in most cases your GPA will not transfer over and you will have to start again at 0.
Will I Be Able to Graduate on Time?
This is a common question among transfer students, and it’s a good one. The truth is that it all depends on your major, the amount of transferrable credits you have and the school’s policies. For example, some schools will accept all of your credits, but the specific classes you have already taken may not count towards your major at your new school. Many people do still manage to graduate on time, but many others have to take extra time to graduate. Fortunately though this is usually just an extra semester or a year.